Rybak touts proposal to hold property tax increase to 2%

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, who’d earlier predicted a 6.7 percent property tax increase in the city, now says that many factors came together to hold his proposed increase to 2 percent.

In an email to residents, he also said spending for “basic City Services” will be nearly flat, compared to this year.

He wrote:

Just one year ago, when we finalized the 2011 budget, we projected that another property-tax increase of 6.7 percent would be necessary for 2012, due to skyrocketing closed-pension costs and other costs. This was even after we cut spending significantly this year, when we’re eliminating around 100 full-time positions.

That projected 6.7 percent increase for next year was unacceptable to me and unsustainable to homeowners who want to stay in our city. Through working hard to keep holding the line on spending, and to reach a compromise agreement to merge two closed-pension funds that have been the source of large tax increases in recent years into the State’s professionally-run PERA retirement system, I am able to propose cutting the size of next year’s tax increase by $13 million.

 He says this is a good thing:

In my view, this solution that goes a long way toward meeting the need to cut the growth of property taxes and the need to continue providing the core services that keep our streets safe and paved, our neighborhoods clean and healthy and our economy growing for the future, all of which our residents, commuters and visitors rely on at a time when we continue to be squeezed by rising costs, such as for health care, and by the Legislature’s unwillingness to balance the State’s budget sustainably.

But, he says, his 2 percent solution is just a proposal for now:

…the 2012 budget process is far from over. After I release my full budget proposal next month, the City Council will hold many hearings on it, and you should express your opinion to your Council member. There will also be public hearings on the budget later this fall, so watch your mailboxes for that information.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by LB Calloway on 08/12/2011 - 11:30 pm.

    The Mpls Public Schools apparently have plenty of money to burn on outrageous salary increases while 10 Mpls fire fighters are laid off and Mpls resident’s property taxes go up and up and up. It’s time to siphon off some of the money being wasted by the failed Mpls Public School District and other wasteful spending of tax payers hard earned money and put it to good use to pay for needed, essential, productive services such as saving lives and saving property.
    Perhaps Mayor Rybak should be recalled too for gross mismanagement and waste of tax payer dollars. Mayor Rybak has always laid the burden of the shortages at the feet of the taxpayer through frequent property tax and sales tax hikes.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 08/15/2011 - 11:03 am.

    Mr. Calloway is disconnected from the law, and from reality.
    Mayor Ryback has no control over the budget or salaries of employees of the Minneapolis School District, and has no responsibility for them. School districts are independent entities. If Mr. Calloway would like to complain about salary increases in the school district, he should contact the Minneapolis School Board, not the Mayor’s Office.
    There’s no connection between laying off firefighters and raising property taxes for schools. Firefighters are paid by the city, and while – for efficiency – city taxes get paid at the same time, and via the same tax bill, as school taxes, the dollars collected are not going into the same budget. School taxes may not legally be used for purposes like funding the fire department or paving streets.
    I look forward to Mr. Calloway providing some specific examples of “…wasteful spending of tax payers hard earned money…” by the school district, but in the meantime, even if those examples can be provided, Mayor Ryback is not responsible for them, and has no control over them. It’s the Superintendent of the Minneapolis Public School System that Mr. Calloway should be complaining about / to.

  3. Submitted by Mark Snyder on 08/15/2011 - 12:21 pm.

    Does LB Calloway realize that Mayor Rybak has nothing to do with the Minneapolis Public Schools budget? That’s controlled by the elected Minneapolis School Board members. Rybak has no say in how they spend the funding they receive.

    And what sales taxes has Mayor Rybak ever hiked? The last sales tax increase that affected Minneapolis was the tax to fund Target Field that was implemented by Hennepin County, not Minneapolis or Mayor Rybak.

  4. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 08/15/2011 - 01:15 pm.

    I believe Mr. Calloway will find that the school district cancelled those salary increases a few days ago.

    The fault for yet higher property taxes lies with Tim Pawlenty and his (and ALEC’s) political children in the legislature.

    No matter how much the counties containing the cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth collect in property taxes, the State has each year reduced the amount DUE these cities and counties to help cover the expense of having large numbers of new immigrants needing help with housing, social services, education and employment; of large numbers of people living in poverty; of ever larger numbers of homeless people who are victims of the Foreclosure Kings of Modern Banking.

    It is OUR money but it is not being returned to us to use as it was intended.

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